Engaging. Effective. Essential.

EMDR Basic Training vs EMDR Certification

Oct 13, 2022


EMDR Basic Training vs EMDR Certification EMDR Basic Training vs EMDR Certification

If you are interested in EMDR therapy education, you may be wondering what the difference is between EMDR Basic Training and EMDR Certification.  In basic terms,

EMDR Basic Training prepares you to practice EMDR therapy whereas EMDR Certification is a professional credential renewable every two years.

Unfortunately, some confusion exists regarding the differences between the two because some entities use the term certification to describe training.  We're setting the record straight and answering your questions, so you can make informed decisions about EMDR Basic Training and EMDR Certification.

What is EMDR Basic Training?

EMDR Basic Training prepares you to practice EMDR therapy

From the early days of research and work in trauma-informed EMDR therapy, theorized by Francine Shapiro, PhD, EMDR Basic Training has referred to the training spanning several days involving lecture, practicums and consultations.  Basic training includes:

      • Full instruction and explanations of the theories supporting EMDR therapy
      • Summaries and abstracts of relevant research
      • Anecdotal examples to help therapists conceptualize cases
      • Instruction and examples of treatment planning
      • Practicums supporting each part of EMDR therapy clinical theory
      • Consultation sessions to support your specific practice of EMDR therapy with clients

What should I look for when considering an EMDR Basic Training program?

Here are a few important things to look for as you consider an EMDR therapy training program.

  1. An EMDRIA approved program. The EMDR International Association holds EMDR Basic Training programs to a high standard, requiring rigorous adherence to program objectives.
  2. Highly trained and qualified instructors. Again, EMDRIA is the standard bearer of qualifications for EMDR trainers.  Look for EMDRIA approved trainers and facilitators.
  3. Attention to the original, research-supported principles of EMDR therapy, not a watered down or altered version. Any program offering full training in only 15 hours, for example, is not a full EMDR Basic Training program.  The minimum number of training hours for EMDRIA approval is at least 40 hours of instruction and practicum.
  4. Instruction on complex cases and a variety of special populations, enhancing your ability to use EMDR therapy with your clients.
  5. Choices for in-person, hybrid, and virtual training. Depending on the work you do, and if you practice in tele-health or mostly in-person, consider how you would like to train in EMDR therapy.
  6. Choices for large and small group training. Some participants enjoy a large gathering for lecture with smaller facilitation and consultation groups.  Others prefer small group training where the trainer also acts as the facilitator and consultant.


Consider EMDR Professional Training as your first choice for EMDR therapy Basic Training.  Our 57-hour Basic Training program is EMDRIA approved, and all instructors are EMDRIA approved trainers and consultants.  Find out more about our EMDR therapy programs on our Basic Training page and learn about our EMDR trainers on our training provider page.

When can I start using EMDR therapy with my clients?

 We encourage our participants to start practicing EMDR therapy right away, as soon as they've completed their first weekend, Part 1, of training in most situations.  However, practicing EMDR therapy right away will depend upon confidence level and clients.  As you complete Basic Training, your confidence will increase, and you'll be ready to work with simple cases.  Completion of EMDR Basic Training, consultation, and experience will improve your effectiveness as a practitioner.  Your trainers, facilitators, and consultants will work with you to determine your level of readiness as well.

Am I EMDR Certified once I've completed EMDR Basic Training?

This is where some confusion lies in the process of training and certification in EMDR therapy.  To clarify, EMDR Basic Training and EMDR Certification are not one in the same.  You are not, however, EMDR Certified at that point.  EMDR Certification is a completely different step after completing basic training.

Do I need to be EMDR certified to use EMDR therapy with my clients?

 In a word, no, but let's clarify what happens in basic training.  When you complete your EMDRIA approved basic training program, you are fully equipped to use EMDR therapy with your clients.  For example, with EMDR Professional Training's program, you complete a total of 57 hours of training including treatment planning, facilitation groups, and consultation.  Our training gives you everything you need to start your practice of EMDR therapy the right way and with a lot of support.

EMDR Certification is another important step you may choose as part of your professional development, but it is not required that you become EMDR certified to be a practitioner of EMDR therapy.  We do, however, encourage you to consider EMDR Certification, as it will help you further develop your practice and add credibility to your role as an EMDR therapy mental health professional.

What is EMDR Certification?

EMDR Certification is a professional credential renewable every two years.

EMDR Basic Training and Certification

EMDR Certification is a professional credential granted by EMDRIA, the EMDR International Association. While EMDRIA is the granting body for certification, several requirements must be fulfilled to obtain certification.  EMDR Professional Training offers a full EMDR certification module where you can connect with our team of EMDR consultants who guide you through the process and provide your needed consultation hours.

EMDR Certification is based on the following criteria:

    1. Completion of an EMDR approved basic training program. You'll need to provide a final certificate of completion to EMDRIA.
    2. A copy of your current license to practice independently as a mental health professional.
    3. A notarized statement of practice and EMDR experience. In this statement, you confirm the following:
          • At least two years of experience in your field of license.
          • At least 50 EMDR sessions with at least 25 clients.
    1. Documentation of 20 hours of consultation by an EMDR Consultant. Up to 10 hours may be completed in group consultation with at least 10 hours of individual, EMDR-focused consultation.  EMDR Professional Training offers both group and individual consultation within our Certification module to help you complete the required consultation hours with qualified EMDR therapy consultants.
    2. Letters of recommendation from one or more EMDR Consultants addressing your utilization of EMDR therapy with clients.
    3. Two letters of recommendation regarding your professional practice from colleagues or peers.
    4. Proof of completion of 12 hours of continuing education in EMDR therapy. These must be courses that provide EMDRIA Credits.  EMDR Professional Training provides many advanced courses to fulfill these hours, all of which are EMDRIA credit courses.  You can choose from both live and OnDemand courses to fulfill your continuing education hours.

Find out more about the requirements of EMDR Certification at:  EMDRIA.org

EMDR Certification renewal is every two years requiring 12 hours of EMDRIA accredited continuing education courses.  See our growing catalog of advanced courses to fulfill this requirement.

In all, training and practicing EMDR therapy is much more than taking a quick course to learn protocols. EMDR therapy is a robust psychotherapy with many opportunities for growth as a clinician and mental health professional.

Listen our EMDR Chat Podcast where Curt and Michelle explain more about EMDR Certification and how this process can enhance your work in EMDR therapy.  Go to our EMDR Chat podcast page or find us at SoundCloud, Spotify, or search EMDR Chat on Apple Podcasts.

Please reach out with further questions at:  info@emdrprofessionaltraining.com or give us a call at: 949-445-6548.  We're happy to help!

EMDR Chat with Curt and Michelle Podcast
Your EMDR Training Journey:  Key Steps to your Success Your EMDR Training Journey:  Key Steps to your Success
Your EMDR Training Journey: Key Steps to your Success
DeTUR for EMDR Therapy DeTUR for EMDR Therapy
DeTUR for EMDR Therapy
EMDR Therapy  for PTSD and More EMDR Therapy  for PTSD and More
EMDR Therapy for PTSD and More
EMDR Basic Training vs EMDR Certification EMDR Basic Training vs EMDR Certification
EMDR Basic Training vs EMDR Certification
Suicide Prevention Training Suicide Prevention Training
Suicide Prevention Training